Thabile Fuhrmann

Thabile Fuhrmann

Chairperson, Director

Thabile Fuhrmann is Chairperson and a Director in our Dispute Resolution practice. Thabile has experience in the fields of inter alia corporate law, commercial law, insolvency law, administrative law (including tender disputes etc.), energy and environmental law, municipal law, credit law (foreclosures, debt recoveries, repossession of financed movable assets etc.), insurance law (insurance related claims and recoveries both in the high and lower courts), landlord and tenancy law, labour law etc.

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Thabile was Managing Director and 100% equity holder of Thabile Fuhrmann & Associates Inc. She commenced with her private practice in partnership in 1997 under the name and style of Knight Thabile Fuhrmann Attorneys. Upon dissolution of the partnership in August 2004, Thabile continued to practice for her own account until December 2011. She subsequently joined Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr as a Director in January 2012. In April 2018, Thabile was appointed Chairperson.

Thabile's experience inlcudes:

  • During 2014-2015: Successfully defended a client in arbitration proceedings involving one of South Africa's large concentrated solar power plants.
  • During 2015: Successfully defended a client in arbitration proceedings in a dispute relating to the arbitrability of a claim arising from a lapsed agreement.
  • During 2016-2017: Represented clients in various court proceedings to review and set aside arbitral awards.
  • During 2013 to May 2014 successfully assisted the IDC in a business rescue matter involving a chrome mine; successfully defended numerous applications brought by aggressive creditors and hostile takeover bidders and thus saved the mine and the IDC's circa R300m investment in it; and launched counter applications to defend the mine property and the BRP's rights envisaged in Chapter 6 of the Companies Act.
  • Successfully defended the IDC (qua Escrow) in well publicised disputes and arbitration proceedings involving the protection and preservation of funds held in an escrow account by the IDC on behalf of a poor mining community in the North West. The funds remain protected and preserved.
  • In 2012 successfully defended certain employees of the IDC (in their capacities as directors in an IDC subsidiary) in criminal proceedings instituted by the Green Scorpions in terms of the Environment Conversation Act, 73 of 1989 and Occupational Health and Safety Act, 85 of 1993 (Asbestos Regulations).
  • Successfully defended a client (listed ICT entity) against an arbitration involving a contractual dispute (contract value – in excess of R100m).
  • Acted for the IDC in successfully recovering in excess R50 million worth of shares in a listed company it had funded in terms of a preference share subscription transaction as well as a cession and pledge of shares. This resulted in the IDC recovering the capital and interest in full (based on the value of the shares attached through the sheriff of court).
  • Successfully defended the IDC against a R29 million claim by joint liquidators in terms of Sections 26 and 29 of the Insolvency Act.
  • Successfully reviewed several decisions of the Master of the High Court, in favour of the IDC, in a R60 million insolvency matter with punitive costs orders against the Master’s office.
  • Advised and assisted IDC in a multi-lender, multi-billion rand manganese mining project in the Northern Cape.
  • Successfully perfected a wide range of IDC’s securities for well of 15 (fifteen) years, which include i.e. notarial general covering bonds; mortgage bonds; special notarial bonds etc. and continues to do so to date.
  • Thabile assisted Eskom with the drafting of several of its contracts and agreements relating to the implementation of its Demand-Side Management (DSM) projects in the commercial and industrial consumer sector, aimed at promoting a more cost-effective and responsible energy usage in the country.
  • Acted for the City of Johannesburg (COJ) in high court applications to relocate beneficiaries of low cost housing and the eviction of illegal occupants of improved and unimproved council properties in terms of the PIE and ESTA Acts.
  • Rendered legal services to the Revenue Collections Department of the City of Johannesburg, and assisted in recovering their book debt for arrear municipal taxes and services (value in excess of R50m).
  • Successfully represented the City of Johannesburg (COJ) with an appeal and mediation in terms of the ADR provisions of the Income Tax Act and obtained substantial saving in assessed PAYE (value – confidential).
  • Successfully defended the City of Johannesburg in a landmark review application in respect of a tender awarded for substantial bulk roads and storm water infrastructural upgrade in Soweto.
  • Advised and assisted Aeromix SA (Pty) Ltd (holding sole distributorship rights for specialised mining equipment in the whole of the Southern African region) with the negotiation and sale of its business to a multinational UK based company (represented at the time by Webber Wentzel) and the successful transfer of its entire workforce in terms of Section 197 of LRA. (transaction value circa R200m).
  • Furnished specialised legal opinion to the City of Johannesburg and Eskom (working closely with one of our country’s leading senior counsel who is an expert in these fields) relating to post-retirement employees benefits at local government level and within a state-owned enterprise. This included, inter alia, investigating employee benefits at state-owned enterprise level; the legal implications of post-retirement medical aid contributions and the employer’s obligations in that regard.
  • Furnished specialised legal opinion to Eskom on structured finance transaction in respect of offshore investment opportunities in the ICT sector through the use of SPVs, in conjunction with two Senior Counsels specialising in the fields of corporate and tax law.
  • Assisting corporate clients in several strategic BEE driven acquisitions of equity in some of South Africa’s leading ICT and related services companies. One of these transactions, valued at over R40 million, was finalized in August 2006 (with Invested as the debt funder) wherein she inter alia, drafted and settled sale of shares and shareholders’ agreements; reviewed the financing and dividend policy agreements from the financial institution involved; and reviewed and settled subscription and preference shares agreements and etc.
  • Best Lawyers International 2014–2019 listed Thabile for litigation.


  • BProc, University of South Africa
  • LLB, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Certificate in Energy Law, Mandela School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Admitted as an attorney in: 1996


  • Black Lawyers Association